Want to know what books Harry Wu recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Harry Wu's favorite book recommendations of all time.
Harry Wuthe author is from Hong Kong. He was a newspaper correspondent for many years and he’s written lots of articles about the current situation. Later he was punished by the Chinese for telling the truth. The Chinese media is completely controlled by the Communist Party Propaganda Department. If you violate the rule of the department you will be punished. What Willy Wo-Lap Lam is doing is talking... (Source)
Journalist Jasper Becker conducted hundreds of interviews and spent years immersed in painstaking detective work to produce Hungry Ghosts, the first full account of this dark chapter in Chinese history. In this horrific story of... more
Journalist Jasper Becker conducted hundreds of interviews and spent years immersed in painstaking detective work to produce Hungry Ghosts, the first full account of this dark chapter in Chinese history. In this horrific story of state-sponsored terror, cannibalism, torture, and murder, China's communist leadership boasted of record harvests and actually increased grain exports, while refusing imports and international assistance. With China's reclamation of Hong Kong now a fait accompli, removing the historical blinders is more timely than ever. As reviewer Richard Bernstein wrote in the New York Times, "Mr. Becker's remarkable book...strikes a heavy blow against willed ignorance of what took place." less
Harry WuThis is all about the famine in China from 1958-1962. It was very much part of Mao’s plan, ‘The Great Leap Forward’. So the book is a historical record of how many people died, maybe 35 to 40 million, although the Chinese authorities still refuse to release all the information. The author, Jasper Becker, had lived in China for many years as a correspondent. (Source)
Set in 1951–53, War Trash takes the form of the memoir of Yu Yuan, a young Chinese army officer, one of a corps of “volunteers” sent by Mao to help shore up the Communist side in... more
Set in 1951–53, War Trash takes the form of the memoir of Yu Yuan, a young Chinese army officer, one of a corps of “volunteers” sent by Mao to help shore up the Communist side in Korea. When Yu is captured, his command of English thrusts him into the role of unofficial interpreter in the psychological warfare that defines the POW camp.
Taking us behind the barbed wire, Ha Jin draws on true historical accounts to render the complex world the prisoners inhabit—a world of strict surveillance and complete allegiance to authority. Under the rules of war and the constraints of captivity, every human instinct is called into question, to the point that what it means to be human comes to occupy the foremost position in every prisoner’s mind.
As Yu and his fellow captives struggle to create some sense of community while remaining watchful of the deceptions inherent in every exchange, only the idea of home can begin to hold out the promise that they might return to their former selves. But by the end of this unforgettable novel—an astonishing addition to the literature of war that echoes classics like Dostoevsky’s Memoirs from the House of the Dead and the works of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen—the very concept of home will be more profoundly altered than they can even begin to imagine. less
Bruce CumingsHa Jin’s novel is obviously based on either his experience or his father’s experience of the Korean War. There are some very stark and striking descriptions. He didn’t have access to South Korea, but he has this wonderful ability to treat everybody fairly and to listen to the songs of women guerrillas that were captured by South Korean prison camps and enjoy listening to them. He does the same... (Source)
Harry WuIt’s written by a young Chinese author who came to the United States. He wrote this book in his second language and still won lots of awards for it, which is very impressive. I think this is a really good book to show the West more about what is going on in China. People think that it’s all about economic growth but there is so much more to our history than that. (Source)
Vishakha DesaiTo me Wild Swans is one of those iconic books for understanding the generations of Chinese women. She is from this amazing intellectual family and it’s about what happens to them. The book just has this tremendous power. It’s an amazing journey. It’s about what women do to survive and also how they suffer. (Source)
Harry WuWild Swans is talking about people who are living at the highest level of society but they are still suffering persecution and live in fear. And the peasants in the village became slaves, they became nothing. So what the book does brilliantly is give a real insight into what life was like for ordinary people against the backdrop of the ever-changing China. (Source)
Harry WuTo this day we don’t really know much about Mao’s personal history. The Communist Party portrays him as the Great Leader. His smiling image is everywhere. Even the political system still follows his model. So what Chang did was delve deeper to discover who is the real Mao? You hear from people like his private doctor talking about his personal history (Source)
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